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Election 2020: Fianna Fáil pledge to increase spending on services as opposed to tax cuts

Election 2020: Fianna Fáil pledge to increase spending on services as opposed to tax cuts
Finance spokesman Michael McGrath

Fianna Fáil have pledged to dedicate the state's finances to improving public services even more-if put in power after the general election.

Finance spokesman Michael McGrath promised to increase funding for services, beyond the current 2:1 split between investment in public spending and tax reductions

This was the rate agreed with the outgoing coalition, under the confidence and supply deal, between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. But more would go on services, pledged Mr McGrath.

“The overall emphasis will certainly be on, not just protecting, but improving frontline public services," he said.

It was not acceptable that a million people were on hospital waiting lists, he said, and that over 10,000 people were homeless.

But pressed on the split in spending between tax cuts and services, Mr McGrath did add:

“The emphasis will even be further on investment on public services at the end of the day.”

He criticised the Fine Gael government's promise of billions of euro in tax cuts, long before the election was called, when it was evident there was a housing crisis.

“The very first promise that they made in this election campaign was made long before the campaign started, where they promised to spend over €2bn on a tax and income tax cut before they made any commitments whatsoever in relation to housing.”

Fianna Fáil rejected Fine Gael attacks that it could not be trusted to manage the economy. TD Lisa Chambers defended the progress Fianna Fail previously had made in government with the North as well as on EU treaties.

Mr McGrath said his party at a later stage would outline its tax package for the election.

Setting aside billions of euro for any downturn in the economy will also form part of its plans for government, TDs outlined.

"That is why we believe that having a fiscal buffer, having some money put aside for difficulties that may come in the future is sensible, some prudent economic policy, and that will be an important part of our fiscal plans when they are confirmed in detail of the days ahead,” added Mr McGrath.

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